Indian cultural festival 'Sarang' to be held in S. Korea's iconic filming spot for drama series

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : October 5, 2023, 16:09 Updated : January 27, 2024, 01:32
Amit Kumar the Indian Ambassador to South Korea Courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Seoul
Amit Kumar, the Indian Ambassador to South Korea [Courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Seoul]
SEOUL -- The Indian Embassy in Seoul will hold a cultural event "Sarang" on Nami Island, an iconic region known as a filming spot for K-dramas. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, India's cultural assets such as dance, costumes, and food will be showcased in the river island and other regions across South Korea.
Nami Island in the eastern city of Chuncheon has been used as a filming location for many TV shows including "Winter Sonata (2002)," a mega-hit TV drama, and the 2013~2014 drama "My Love from the Star." In 2016, the iconic island attracted some 1.3 million foreign travelers from 122 countries.
Since 2015, the Indian Embassy has hosted Sarang to bridge the cultural gap between South Koreans and Indians. While the word "Sarang" in Korean means "love," it refers to "diversity representing different colors of India" in Hindi. The event will be held for seven days starting on October 6. This year, the festival will take place in various regions including Seoul, the southeastern port city of Gimhae, and the southwestern county of Gurye. Visitors can enjoy "Bharatanatyam," a classical Indian dance consisting of mimes, rhythmic footwork, and hand gestures.
The Embassy of India in South Korea held a press briefing event on October 5 to promote the annual event. "The Sarang festival is to promote understanding and break down stereotypes to each other," Amit Kumar, the Indian Ambassador to South Korea, told reporters. The envoy said this year’s Bharatanatyam dance will be performed by a group led by Vidyashree Radhakrishna, a famous Indian dancer.
The Sarang festival will be held on Nami Island for two days -- October 8 and October 9. Artworks created by South Korean and Indian artists will be also displayed during the event. South Koreans can try on Indian costumes and play traditional Indian games on the island. Children can cook Indian dishes and learn dances through a special program.  
Courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Seoul
[Courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Seoul]

The Indian ambassador said Sarang does not have any economic components, but it could create business cooperation opportunities by reducing the two nations' cultural divide. "Our vice minister for investment and trade affairs will visit South Korea in the middle of October," the veteran diplomat said, adding that the visit is to encourage more South Korean companies' investments in India. A seminar will be held with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).
Data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed that South Korea's exports to India reached $18.8 billion in 2022, up 21 percent from a year ago while imports rose 10.5 percent year-on-year to $8.9 billion. South Korea mainly exported semiconductors and steel plates, and imported petroleum products and aluminum. At a summit meeting held in May 2023, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached a consensus to improve cooperation in the fields of bio-health, space, and defense. 
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